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Public Artwork for the Future Pomona Gold Line Station Stephen Farley, Artist

Hall of Gratitude

Farrell Chiles

Submitted by Deon Edwards

Farrell showed me the power of documenting your history

When I first met Farrell Chiles I knew we’d be friends. He collected Jackie Robinson memorabilia and was a historian on African American history. I bought a book he authored. My wife and children became attached to him like a member of our own family.

Farrell invited me to a Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation meeting where I shook hands with several Tuskegee Airmen and collaborated with one to give away toys and hygiene items to homeless women and children on Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Farrell was the Vice President of the Foundation. He was also a retired Chief Warrant Officer Four in the U.S. Army and a Los Angeles County Commissioner.

Over time I witnessed Farrell author four more books in a series titled African American Warrant Officers. During Black History Month Farrell volunteered to read to elementary students in Pomona Unified School District. You should have seen their eyes when they heard he threw the first pitch on Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium.

I brought my three year old daughter with me to see Farrell read at a school. As Farrell sat down to read, my daughter ran to the front of the room and jumped in his lap and began turning the pages. They’ve been the closest ever since.

Farrell and I spoke about African American Warrant Officers finally having their lives documented in history. They had enormous pride in their country. African American Veterans from different wars would show up to say thank you at Farrell’s book signings. Farrell introduced me to the Mayor of Pomona, School Superintendent, City Council, business owners and more. Farrell is very important to the Pomona community.

Farrell inspired me to start writing my first book, start a company and show my children the importance of community service.

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